President Joe Biden has proposed a stimulus payment that’s more than twice the second. But figuring out your household’s share may not be that simple.
President Joe Biden (D.) used a historic number of executive orders on his first day in office to deliver on promises made to indebted students, environmentalists, and immigration activists while turning a cold shoulder to gun-control advocates.
Biden’s 17 actions dealt with issues from freezing payments and interest rates on student loans to revoking the Keystone XL pipeline permit to rejoining the Paris Agreement and World Health Organization. His administration announced plans for further executive actions on climate change, health care, immigration, and national security by the end of the month. Despite boasting on his campaign website that he “knows how to make progress on reducing gun violence using executive action” and being historically aggressive in his use of day one executive orders—issuing more than Trump, Obama, Bush, and Clinton combined—gun control was not part of the day one blitz, and no future executive actions on guns have been announced.
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The Biden administration did not respond to a request for comment.
Experts said Biden’s lack of immediate movement on gun control signals it could be a lesser issue for the incoming administration. They pointed to the controversial nature of the issue and the marginal political benefit executive action offers to Democrats.
Jake Charles, executive director of Duke University’s Center for Firearms Law, told the Free Beacon “many of yesterday’s orders are less controversial than might be first-day executive action on guns.” He said the lack of action could indicate the Biden administration plans to try to push gun legislation over pursuing executive actions—at least to begin with. Or it could signal a more cautious approach to the issue overall.
“It’s possible the lack of first-day orders on gun issues may also signal a slower, more cautious approach to gun policy than some regulation advocates hoped—and slower too than the approach some regulation opponents feared,” Charles said.
Biden ran on historically strict gun proposals during the 2020 campaign promising to fight gun manufacturers as the “enemy” and impose new bans and taxes on popular firearms such as the AR-15 that could reach into the tens-of-billions of dollars. His campaign received $30 million in support from gun-control organizations like the Michael Bloomberg-backed Everytown for Gun Safety. Despite taking office after a record-setting year for gun sales and the emergence of an estimated 8.4 million new gun owners, experts expect Biden will act on gun control at some point during his tenure—even if it isn’t among his top priorities.
Robert Leider, an assistant professor at George Mason’s Antonin Scalia Law School, said the evenly divided Senate means Biden will struggle to pass any new gun-control legislation and will likely have to resort to executive maneuvers eventually. He said there are several different ways Biden could tighten gun regulations without assistance from the legislative branch.
“The Department of Justice, particularly the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, will have primary rulemaking responsibility,” Leider told the Free Beacon. “This rulemaking probably will not begin until President Biden has an adequate number of political appointees in place at the Department of Justice.”
Leider said the administration could target unfinished firearms receivers—sometimes called ghost guns—for new regulations, restrict the kinds of guns that can be imported to the United States under the “sporting purpose” exception, and expand the requirements for who must obtain a federal license before selling a gun. Charles said he believes Biden could repeat the Department of Justice rulemaking process used by former president Donald Trump (R.) to ban bumpstocks in an attempt to ban other devices like AR-15 pistol braces.
The lack of executive orders on gun control did not diminish support from activists. Giffords, a gun-control group that spent millions to elect Democrats in the 2020 election, celebrated Biden’s inauguration in an email to supporters on Wednesday. The activists insisted to supporters that the issue remains “a top priority.”
“This issue is a top priority for President Biden and Vice President Harris,” the email said. “The nation is behind them, and we have helped their transition team identify executive actions they can take on day one.”
Giffords did not respond to requests for comment about the lack of “day one” action.
The inauguration of President Joe Biden won significantly more viewers than President Donald Trump’s 2017 ceremony, per early Nielsen figures. Approximately 39.87 million people watched the half-hour swearing-in ceremony over the nation’s six major TV-news outlets, according to Nielsen, compared with 27.08 million viewers for the 2017 event. CNN’s coverage captured an average of 9.9 […]
Last night after Joseph Robinette Biden, Sr. and Kamala Devi Harris were sworn in during the 59th Inaugural Ceremonies (and the rest of America was serenaded by Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez and treated to a stirring poetry recital by young rising star Amanda Gorman), CBS, NBC and ABC aired the presidential inauguration special “Celebrating […]
Amid calls by Democratic leaders to “deprogram” and “reeducate” supporters of President Trump, former CIA Director John Brennan said Wednesday that the Biden administration is “moving in laser-light fashion” to root out an “unholy alliance” that includes “religious extremists” and libertarians.
Brennan, who is widely regarded as the “quarterback” of the unwarranted “Trump-Russia collusion” effort to undermine Trump, spoke with MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace after the inauguration of Joe Biden.
“The members of the Biden team who have been nominated or have been appointed are now moving in laser light fashion to try to uncover as much as they can about what looks very similar to insurgency movements that we’ve seen overseas,” Brennan said, “where they germinate in different parts of the country and they gain strength, and it brings together an unholy alliance frequently of religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, even libertarians.”
Brennan said there’s a “momentum that has been generated” by “the demagogic rhetoric” of the now-departed Trump administration and “also those who continue in the halls of Congress.”
“So I really do think that the law enforcement, homeland security, intelligence and even the defense officials are doing everything possible to root out what seems to be a very, very serious and insidious threat to our democracy and our republic,” he said.
Biden touched on the issue in his inaugural address Wednesday, speaking of “a rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat.”
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said in a Fox News interview on Wednesday that he understood Biden to be referencing the entire opposition to Democrats on the right.
“If you read his speech and listen to it carefully, much of it is thinly veiled innuendo,” Paul said, “calling us white supremacists, calling us racists, calling us every name in the book.”
Washington Post columnist Philip Bump reacted on Thursday to Paul’s assessment, contending the senator was conflating Biden’s “constrained criticism with a broad attack on Republicans generally.”
However, Brennan clearly was painting with a broad brush when he referred to “an unholy alliance frequently of religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, even libertarians.”
In November, a member of the Democratic National Committee, David Atkins, said on Twitter that “deprogramming” is needed for every one of the Americans who voted for Trump on Nov. 3.
“No seriously … how *do* you deprogram 75 million people? Where do you start? Fox? Facebook?” he wrote on Twitter.
“We have to start thinking in terms of post-WWII Germany or Japan. Or the failures of Reconstruction in the South.”
WND reported that after casting Trump and his supporters as “white supremacists” and “conspiracy theorists” for the past four years, the most prominent member of the far-left “squad,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said Friday it’s time to pour more money into efforts to “deradicalize” and “deprogram” that population.
One year ago, a campaign organizer for then-Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said the country would need to “spend billions” on “reeducation” of Trump supporters who have become “Nazified.”
See an excerpt of the MSNBC interview with John Brennan:
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